Spring update from the RYA Safeguarding and Equality Manager

Katie Loucaides, Safeguarding and Equality Manager, shares the news from the RYA Safeguarding and Equality team.
02 May 24
RYA Eric Twiname Championships 2023,Mark Radford,Rutland Sailing Club

We are now fast approaching a brand-new sailing season, a busy time for all as everyone prepares for the return to a full programme of on-the-water activities. There have been many stand out moments over recent months, a few of which I would like to take this opportunity to highlight.

New safeguarding advisor

Last year, we welcomed James Avery as the new non-executive Independent Safeguarding Advisor. As an NHS Director of Nursing, a keen sailor, and current club commodore, James brings with him a wealth of experience. He has already proved to be a huge asset to all of us at the RYA through his insight, advice, and support. 


The team and I delivered safeguarding and equality workshops at the RYA Connected Conferences and at the RYA Training Conference, some of which you may have attended. It is always a pleasure to meet face-to-face with the teams working so hard on the ground to ensure sailing and boating remains a safe and fun place for all participants.  

RYA Youth Nationals was, as always, a fantastic event, even with the challenging weather in Portland. Watching so many young people enjoying sailing with such passion and determination was a privilege to see. 

Independent Safeguarding Review

As RYA Welfare Officers will be aware, last year we made the proactive decision to undertake an independent review, part of which examined the RYA’s safeguarding function. We would like to thank all the Welfare Officers who engaged with the review. Your input is invaluable and has contributed to the learnings we will take from the findings. The final review has been completed, and the RYA will now take this time to consider the report and determine next steps. As this work evolves, we will be sure to share any learnings to further develop safeguarding best practice and knowledge.

Updated safeguarding posters

We have now updated the safeguarding posters offered to affiliates. The posters we currently have available are Changing Room Etiquette, Inclusive Language and Safe & Fun. If you would like to receive a Poster Pack, please email the Safeguarding team. 

Succession planning

Succession planning should play an important part in your club’s safeguarding plans. Considering what will happen when the current Welfare Officer steps away from the role will help create a smooth transition for the new post holder. Should you choose to leave your role, please email the RYA Safeguarding team so the relevant contact details can be updated. 

Safeguarding policy update 

The template for the affiliate Safeguarding Policy has now been updated to incorporate both children and adults at risk. The template has been designed to be of use to several different types of affiliates with different activities and requirements. There may be elements of the document which are not relevant to your organisation, please use it as a reference point and adapt for your needs. The document is available on Safeguarding policies guidelines page.

Update on the Urgent Safeguarding Phoneline Service

We are extending the Urgent Safeguarding Phoneline pilot for another year before reviewing. The Line has been in place for 2-years and directs the caller to a member of the team out-of-hours. We know that the line offers Welfare Officers reassurance that there is someone they can speak to should an urgent situation arise out-of-hours. 

On weekdays, the phone line is open between 5pm-10pm. During weekends and Bank Holidays, the phone line is open between 9am-10pm. If you have an urgent safeguarding matter, you can contact the Urgent Safeguarding Phoneline on 02380 012796 and select extension 3.

Get in touch

As the Safeguarding and Equality Manager, I am incredibly proud of the RYA Safeguarding and Equality team, who continue to go above and beyond in their roles to support our affiliates and deliver a fantastic service to anyone who needs support. We would like to wish all Welfare Officers a very warm and sunny new season.

If you need support from the RYA Safeguarding & Equality team, please email or call 02380 012796.